The Importance of Sharing Customer Impact Stories

Are you using customer impact stories to solidify the purpose of your organization?

Summary
Transcript

Lisa McLeod, author of Leading with Noble Purpose, shares why customer impact stories should be at the forefront of every meeting you have with your team.

“Before you introduce any type of initiative, any type of reports, tell a customer impact story because it connects the dots,” says Lisa about team meetings. “People need to know why you, as a leader, are there, and they need to know that their work matters.”

Watch the video to learn why sharing customer impact stories matters more to organizational culture than discussing revenue reports.

We know that organizational narrative, the words of the leader, set the tone. They tell people why we're here and they tell people whether their work is meaningful or not. One of the mistakes that leaders often make at meetings, and I'm sure you've been in meetings like this yourself, where it's just death by PowerPoint or death by numbers. We'll be there, "And here's the quarterly numbers, and here's the annual numbers, and here's the market share." All of those things are important, but they're not emotionally engaging.

So, as a leader, the way to emotionally engage your team is never going to be with quantitative things. It's always going to be qualitative. Said another way, it's story. If you think about the difference between if I was the CEO of an organization…Actually, I can give you a real example.

I had the CEO of an organization that I was coaching, and when we first started working together, he would stand up at the town halls and he would give the quarterly numbers. People were happy. "Great. We're doing well. Yay, yay, yay."

But we spent a little time together, and then at the next town hall, instead of standing up and saying, "Our revenues are this, our profits are this, we're going into these new markets," he stood up and said, "Before we get to the numbers, I want to tell you a story about one of our customers and how our software made a difference in their lives and in their business."

He told the story of their software and he said, "This is how it affected the real-life people and our customer," and he put up pictures. In that moment, everyone's sitting there thinking, "This work I did as a coder, this work I did in billing, this work I did selling this? Wow. That made a difference." He transitioned them from that to say, "And here's the other 10,000 customers we've did this with this quarter." It totally changed the lens for everything.

If there's one thing that's a super-simple fix for leaders to do, it's before you introduce any type of initiative, any type of reports, tell a customer impact story because it connects the dots. And everyone's not good at this, so you're going to need to practice it, but people need to know why you, as a leader, are there, and they need to know that their work matters.
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Lisa McLeod

Lisa McLeod began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she was a sales leader, sales managers, and sales training. She went on to become the Vice-President of Vital Learning --an international training company - before founded he...

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